How Mark fixed his fight

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Christian J. Michael
  • 908th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Deploying is an intense experience, full of 12-hour days and little time to oneself. Despite the demanding days serving the mission, one 908th Airman still managed to find enough time to write a book while deployed overseas.

Senior Master Sgt. Mark Lanton, 908th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, was deployed to Iraq when he felt called to write about relating experiences in his life and faith to boxing, a sport he loves.

"I was up reading the Bible," said Sergeant Lanton. "As I read, I came across Revelations 20:10 about how Satan is defeated in the end times. I related the verse to boxing that as Christians, our fight is already fixed."

When a fight is fixed, the outcome is known before the match even begins. Sergeant Lanton relates how, for Christians, the Bible claims victory in their struggles.

"So as Christians, basically it's the same thing," said Sergeant Lanton, medical services superintendent. "You know, no matter what you're going through in this lifetime, no matter what struggles you face, we know that we have the victory as Christians in the end."

Sergeant Lanton's faith impacts how he approaches life, both at the 908th and at home.

"My faith is what gets me through every challenging situation in my life," he said. "It's easy to have faith when times are going good, but God will test your faith to see if you really believe. God requires your faith in Him."

As a former professional boxer and former boxing champion, he related through his book both his passion for God and for boxing into analogies he believes can help people through their struggles.

"I just wrote a commentary on a boxing match between two men, and the various situations the fighters get into," he said. "I just relate it to some kind of a life situation."

Having boxed since he was ten, Sergeant Lanton said he can relate anything to boxing. "Basically, in a lot of ways, boxing is all I know. So I just relate a lot of life issues to what's happening in a boxing match."

Despite its recent publication date, the book has already touched the lives of readers. Angie Godwin, branch manager at the Officer Training School shoppette on Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala, initially bought the book to help teach her growing teenager how to deal with life's struggles.

"I've been trying to work with my son about dealing with challenges and obstacles and coming out a better person on the other side," said Ms. Godwin. She wanted him to understand that "not all battles are supposed to be won, you're just supposed to come through them, come out stronger and braver."

While she bought the book for her son, the passing of a loved one, in turn, provided unexpected support for a challenge she, herself, had to endure.

"My father was buried a week ago yesterday," said Ms. Godwin, whose father had just been diagnosed with stomach cancer and given three weeks to live. "My son and I had just finished the book (for his benefit) and I realized that this book was meant for me to read."

Ms. Godwin said the spiritually-based book meant a lot to her and that "both teenagers and adults alike can glean a lot from it. It was just a very inspirational book."

Sergeant Lanton finished "The Fight is Already Fixed" while deployed to Iraq and says he couldn't have done it without God's help.

"It just so happened that my replacement was late," he said. "It gave me enough time ... so I believe God had me write this book over there. I guess it's because He knew I would focus."